Did Nintendo Cut the 3DS’ Price Because of PS Vita?By Alex Co | July 31, 2011 | News | No comments | Share
The big story this week was how Nintendo was dropping the price of its 3DS by a significant amount – by more than 30 percent even! What makes this even more surprising is given how early it is in the handheld’s lifecycle.
While it’s mostly attributed to the 3DS’ fledgling sales, analysts are also pointing out that Sony’s PlayStation Vita – which will release later this year, might have something to do with it.
I just looked at their revised financial forecasts and they are ready to take a hit. They are really being aggressive. It is very unlike Nintendo to be willing to take such a loss. I think what it says is that they really feel the heat from the Sony Vita.
I see it as a move to protect their market share and position in handhelds. I would not call it desperation but more a very aggressive defensive action by the market leader to hold on to market position.David Cole of DFC Intelligence on 3DS price lowering
It also bears mentioning that when the PlayStation Vita launches later this year, it won’t be at the same price point of Nintendo’s 3DS. Before the big price cut was announced, nabbing a PS Vita for $250 – the price of the original 3DS, it looked literally, like a steal. Now? Vita is back to square one – at least in price-point.
Sony I think can possibly play this to their advantage, although the price difference is tough. Sony is going up against a very aggressive leader in Nintendo. I think we can say that competition in the portable space should really heat up. That could be good for consumers that can take advantage of these deals.
Not every analyst thinks the same as Cole, Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research firm thinks Sony might have to reconsider the Vita’s price.
When Sony announced PS Vita pricing at $249.99, 3DS price had to come down. PS Vita pricing feels compatible with value now, but unless the economy improves more rapidly, a price cut should come sooner rather than later.Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research on Vita's pricing
Finally, Jesse Divnich of EEDAR thinks the portable market competition this coming holiday will be intense, and that Sony could be in for a rough time. Although he also adds in that if Sony can put out a decent library of games that it would “thrive” at its $249 price point.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Sony’s upcoming handheld might have played a little part in Nintendo’s sudden acceptance of getting significantly less for each 3DS sold…will history repeat itself and we see the 3DS dominate the PlayStation Vita or are things turning around for this generation of handhelds?
Your guess is as good as mine at this point.